What is the Basis for Morality?

by Bodie Hodge
Featured in Feedback

If people are taught from a young age that nothing matters, that there are no morals, and that “survival of the fittest” is “the way the world works,” then what type of society should we expect?

Whilst reading through some of your feedback archive, I was somewhat takenaback at the response given to a scientist concerning evolution.

You said:

“Why not steal, why not lie, why not murder your fellow students, why not put falsehoods in museums[—]especially if it benefits you in some way? The current generation put this together and that is why they arent afraid to put on pro-evolution shirts with Natural Selection written on them and kill their fellow students.” [Ed. note: taken from “A False Version of Our History”]

Are you suggesting that the only thing preventing you from commiting such acts is a fear of God? If you happened to have been raised outside religion, do you honestly believe you would be compelled to rape, murder and steal? It is a very revealing comment to make if true.

M. F., Southampton, UK

I just want to commend you on the tone and attitude with which you respond to critical feedback of AiG. It’s such a blessing to read how you patiently yet firmly defend your beliefs and challenge the assumptions of sometimes hostile crtics. You are a good example of the love and character of Yeshua to others.

P.D., Denver, Colorado

Thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis. First, I’m not sure that anyone can escape being raised up without any religion whatsoever—whether secular humanism, naturalism, evolutionism, Christianity, Islam, etc. I had the privilege of being raised in family that respected the Bible and its teachings, whereas many others were raised with evolutionary religion or even had it forced on them. Logically, though, if people are taught from a young age that nothing matters, that there are no morals, and that they can do whatever pleases them, and that “survival of the fittest” is “the way the world works,” then what type of society should we expect? After all, leading evolutionary spokesperson Richard Dawkins makes it clear that there is no basis for morality in evolution:

Jaron Lanier: “There’s a large group of people who simply are uncomfortable with accepting evolution because it leads to what they perceive as a moral vacuum, in which their best impulses have no basis in nature.”

Richard Dawkins: “All I can say is, That’s just tough. We have to face up to the truth.”

“Evolution: The dissent of Darwin,” Psychology Today, January/February 1997, p. 62.

Let’s look at a few examples of evolutionary beliefs causing terrible crimes.

1. Jeffrey Dahmer

If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what’s the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we, when we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing … .

– Jeffrey Dahmer, in an interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, Nov. 29, 1994.

2. Adolf Hitler

Hitler’s atrocities certainly fulfilled Darwin’s call to eliminate certain races:

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes … will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian [aborigine] and the gorilla.

– Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1874 (2nd ed.), p. 178.

Sir Arthur Keith, a British anthropologist, was an atheistic evolutionist and an anti-Nazi, but he still drew this chilling conclusion:

The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.

Arthur Keith, Evolution and Ethics, 1947, p. 230.

3. Stalin

One of [Stalin’s] friends later said in a book … that when Stalin began to read Darwin he became an atheist. … [T]hree years after Stalin’s death, Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev charged Stalin with perpetrating “mass arrests and deportations of many thousands of people, execution without trial and without normal investigation.” Khrushchev also stated that during Stalin’s reign 70 per cent of the members and candidates of the party central committee in 1934 were subsequently arrested and shot. Most of these, claimed Khrushchev, were simply “innocent communists.” Darwinian “survival of the fittest” ideas thus powerfully shaped Stalin’s approach to society. Oppression, self glorification, atheism and murder resulted from Stalin’s rejection of his Creator after reading and believing the evolutionary ideas of Darwin.

“What happened when Stalin read Darwin?” Creation 10(4):23, 1988.

We all know that teaching influences people’s lives. As sad as it is, what do we see today? We see kids killing kids in schools, rape, merciless theft and vandalism, the murder of unborn children, and an overall disregard for the law. And research confirms that this decline in morals is linked to a rejection of biblical absolutes as people embrace evolutionary ideas.

As Christians, all basis of morality is dictated by God and His Word. When rejecting God, we make ourselves the final authority in matters of morality, and there is no basis for consistent morality applied to everyone. (This is not to say that people who do not believe the Bible are all criminals; most are not, but they have no basis for their morality—no real justification for why people should be moral.)

But following the moral guidelines the Bible gives is not done solely out of fear—though, certainly, there is a recognition of God’s judgement. Rather, people can act morally when they understand why morals exist, have a relationship with the Foundation behind them, and realize that morality exists to protect us, not to restrict us. We do not avoid murder just because we fear God’s judgement, but also because the Bible shows us why all human lives are valuable, and why murder is truly wrong (and not just “undesirable”). And, of course, this all stems from understanding the creation account in Genesis, and that God made us in His image. Additionally, a personal relationship with Christ frees us from bondage to the sin nature we all inherited through Adam and indwells us with the Holy Spirit. We possess this sinful nature until we are freed from our bodies—which is why we, as Christians, still sin. Sadly, this is gleefully pointed out when a prominent Christian leader succumbs to the lust of the flesh. But it is God’s desire for His people to be set apart (sanctified) and conformed to His perfect Son (Romans 8), and it is God who works in us “both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13, KJV).

In kindness,

Bodie Hodge, AiG–USA


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